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Public parking in Mumbai: Higher premium likely soon for incentive FSI

The Fadnavis government had called for a review of all pre-election decisions on FSI taken by his predecessor.

Written by Shalini Nair | Mumbai |
March 9, 2015 4:12:23 am

Real estate projects with public parking lots constructed within the premises will soon have to pay a higher premium for the incentive floor space index (FSI) granted to such projects.

The state’s urban development department has initiated a proposal to modify the Development Control Rule (DCR) 33 (24) that deals with incentive FSI for construction of public parking on private plots. It is awaiting sanction from Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

“Until now, the premium was charged at 40 per cent of the Ready Reckoner rates on various factors, such as construction cost of the parking lot, other facilities provided and the incentive area constructed. Now, with a view to increasing the state government’s revenues, the rates would be hiked upwards to 60 per cent,” said a senior official. The premium charged is shared equally between the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and the state government.

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The policy for granting additional FSI of 40 per cent to all projects that construct public parking lots was passed by the Ashok Chavan government in October 2008. In case of projects located close to high footfall areas such as railway or Metro stations, a higher incentive of 50 per cent was allowed. Accordingly, such residential or commercial projects are allowed to consume a total FSI of 3 in the suburbs and 4 in the island city. However, the practice of charging a premium instead of giving away the incentive FSI free of cost was brought into effect by the then chief minister Prithviraj Chavan in March 2012. Ahead of the Assembly elections, in August 2014, Chavan increased the incentive FSI uniformly to 50 per cent.

The Fadnavis government had called for a review of all pre-election decisions on FSI taken by his predecessor. The move to modify the DCR, under which developers will be charged a higher premium now, is a result of this exercise.

The more than six-year-old policy that has led to a spurt of high-rises, especially along the narrow congested erstwhile mill land belt of Mumbai, has not translated into much additional public amenities on ground. Till date, the BMC has been handed over merely a couple of public parking lots even as it has allowed 59 real estate projects to consume the high FSI that is available under the parking policy. Thirty of these are in the island city that geographically accounts for only 15 per cent of Mumbai’s area.

Sunil Mantri, president of the National Real Estate Development Council, said the proposed hike in premium levied on projects under the parking FSI policy might render some of them unviable. “The Ready Reckoner rate itself goes through an increase every year and over that the BMC and the state government have drastically increased the premium charged on various factors such as 0.33 FSI. Even through the overall FSI has been increased by the state, it will be difficult to generate affordable housing as builders will pass on the costs incurred by them to consumers,” he said.

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